Fresh Growth

Fresh Growth

Fresh Growth: Approaches to a More Sustainable Future from Western Ag Practitioners introduces you to farmers and ranchers from around the western United States who are finding innovative sustainable practices that enrich the natural resources we all care about. These successful multi-generational operations experiment with new ideas and are making it pay. Listen in as they tell their story and provide advice for young or beginning farmers.Western SARE, funded by USDA NIFA, provides grants and education to advance innovations in sustainable agriculture. Intro music credit: Organic Energy by Kensington Studios used under license from Shutterstock.

Episodes

March 6, 2021 10 min

Western SARE completed our second season of Fresh Growth. Thank you for listening! As we are working toward Season 3, we are sharing some special podcasts. These podcasts were created by students in the Washington State University’s Systems Skills for Agriculture and Food Systems class. The students interviewed producers on topics such as regenerative agriculture, permaculture, marketing, economics, technology and more. We hope you...

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Western SARE completed our second season of Fresh Growth. Thank you for listening! As we are working toward Season 3, we are sharing some special podcasts. These podcasts were created by students in the Washington State University’s Systems Skills for Agriculture and Food Systems class. The students interviewed producers on topics such as regenerative agriculture, permaculture, marketing, economics, technology and more. We hope you...

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February 19, 2021 16 min

Western SARE completed our second season of Fresh Growth. Thank you for listening! As we are working toward Season 3, we are sharing some special podcasts. These podcasts were created by students in the Washington State University’s Systems Skills for Agriculture and Food Systems class. The students interviewed producers on topics such as regenerative agriculture, permaculture, marketing, economics, technology and more. We hope you...

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February 5, 2021 48 min

Today’s guest is Nathan Hodges, who along with his wife Sage Dilts, runs Barn Owl Bakery on Lopez Island, Washington. He discusses why they are farming and sourcing heritage grains and using them in their baked goods; how the grains are processed locally; how the community plays a big role in their success; the results of his Western SARE research project; and what “right livelihood” means to them.

The bakery came first, and then th...

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Today’s guest is Mike Nolan who, along with Mindy Perkovich, farms in the Mancos Valley in Southwest Colorado. Mountain Roots Produce provides the local and regional community high quality and reasonably priced vegetables.

Mike discusses their commitment to building soil health, a strong local food system, and a profitable business, all while facing challenges brought on by COVID and limited water in the high desert climate.

Prior to...

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Sally Gale, who along with husband Mike, operates Chileno Valley Ranch in Marin County California. She and Mike returned to the family ranch in 1993, restoring buildings, infrastructure, and the land. They planted hundreds of apple and pear trees and started a grass-fed beef business selling directly to the local community.

Sally discusses how they learned by reaching out to family ranchers, NRCS, ag extension, and the Marin Resourc...

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Chris Sayer is a successful fifth generation farmer in Ventura County. He grows citrus and avocados, and experiments with other specialty crops such as figs, persimmons, apples, and apricots. Chris returned to the family farm in 2001 and has become passionate about soil health and regenerative agriculture.   

“I inherited well-maintained but old trees. So I’ve had to look down the road, replace trees, and get set up for the next 30-...

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In this episode, Emily Cornell and Sarah Bangert discuss prescriptive grazing effects on rangeland.  

Emily is a cow-calf rancher with Sol Ranch and Cornell Ranch in Northeastern New Mexico. She markets grass fed beef and also manages an apprenticeship program for beginning ranchers. She talks about the importance of soil health, especially in an area with limited water, as well as impacts on processing and marketing due to COVID-19...

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Today’s guest is Taylor Larson, who along with his two brothers and parents, operates My Brothers’ Farm in the Willamette Valley of Oregon.

First generation farmers, they raise bison, pigs, and hazelnuts on the land on which they were raised.

Taylor describes creating effective frameworks to determine a vision of regenerative agriculture with multiple partners and the importance of returning to the frameworks for decision-making.

&...

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Western SARE completed our first season of Fresh Growth. Thank you for listening! As we are working toward Season 2, we are sharing some special podcasts. These podcasts were created as a senior project in Montana State University's Sustainable Food & Bioenergy Systems class.

In this podcast, Jill Falcon Mackin, doctoral candidate at Montana State University, discusses Food Sovereignty for indigenous people. From the Turtle ...

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Western SARE completed our first season of Fresh Growth. Thank you for listening! As we are working toward Season 2, we are sharing some special podcasts. These podcasts were created as a senior project in Montana State University's Sustainable Food & Bioenergy Systems class.

In this episode, student Nathaniel Bowman talks with Rocky Creek Farm's co-founder Matt Rothschiller about small scale vegetable production, integ...

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Aaron and Hansel Kern are owners along with Sue and Rebecca Kern, of Kern Family Farm. The multi-generational farm is located in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada Mountains of California.

In this episode,you’ll hear about their passion for community and conservation; trials with no-till and cover cropping; and the transition to the next generation.

The farm is certified organic and they use regenerative farming practices. The Kern...

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Jessica Gigot and her family own Harmony Fields located in the Skagit Valley, Washington. They make artisan farmstead sheep cheese and also grow organic herbs. Their mission is to produce nutritious, high-quality food using organic and ecological farming techniques.  

In this fifth episode, recorded prior to the impacts of COVID-19, Jessica shares important lessons that seem even more critical today. She discusses Harmony Field’s re...

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In our fourth episode, you'll hear from Kurt Myllymaki, manager and VP of Helmak and owner of Myllymaki Farm. Kurt is a third generation farmer in Stanford Montana. The farms grow a variety of crops, mainly winter wheat. He and his wife operate a cow-calf operation on land leased from the family farm operation.
 
The family farm has been in operation since the 1930s and Kurt has been an integral part of the operation for over 15 ...

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In our third episode, you’ll listen to the folks at Vilicus Farms, a first-generation organic, dryland crop farm located in Havre, Montana. Anna Jones-Crabtree, Doug Crabtree, and Paul Neubauer discuss honestly their successes and challenges as they built the operation from scratch as young farmers and in the face of climate variability. They hold a vision of bringing in new farmers who see agriculture as a solution. 

They talk abou...

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Greg Giguiere, Matchbook Wines in Yolo County California, discusses farming 2,000 acres of grapes and olives on this multi-generational farm while at the same time preserving wetlands and other natural habitat for wildlife. Greg describes working with IPM methods including using owl boxes and his participation in research on owls as control for rodents. He gives specific examples of sustainable practices the vineyard uses such as c...

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Brendon Rockey, co-owner of Rockey Farms in San Luis Valley of Colorado, tells us how the multi-generational family farm has experimented and implemented one new farming practice after another, steadily increasing their sustainability, profitability, soil health and crop quality.

The family originally identified a desire to eliminate toxic chemicals; and then realized with their poor soil health and the lack of diversity, they didn...

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